Just hearing those words “You’re Fired”

When you first hear those two words, you automatically think of losing your job.  I thought I would take it one step further and reflect on some of the times I’ve actually been ‘fired’ in other situations.

I will begin with my career position.  The ‘firing’ took place in 1994 during my first year in what would be a slippery slide into the world of deep major depression.  I was employed with this company for five years as an accounting supervisor, however, frequent hospitalizations, months off at home recuperating and the return to work following, just did not pan out.  In the end, I was essentially ‘fired’.

As soon as they received the much awaited doctor’s letter, upon what would be my final office return, they shoved a severance package envelope at me, and escorted me to the door. This came after the “you were a valuable asset to the company” comment and a limp handshake.  I was so unwell back then, however, in hindsight I wish I would have contested for a better compensation package.

One of the saddest times in my life, was being ‘fired’ by my dearest friends.  Felt like a kick in the stomach.  I had four extremely valued friends, and during my first few admissions to hospital they would visit regularly.  When home on passes, we would get together for lunch, and chats; but as the years passed, so did they.  Few phone calls were returned, as well as, less and less visits when I was met with further hospital admissions.  It’s as if they wanted no more to do with me.

It all fell back on me and my thinking.  I felt I was the reason for this ‘firing’.  Maybe this; maybe that.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have appeared so glum-like or depressed, joined in on a joke or conversation or maybe I just wasn’t the old ME.  And then it hit me….why should I have to apologize for being ill.  An illness?  Apologizing for an illness?  What other illness would have you doing this?

Then there was the “firing” from a boyfriend that I dated for many years before I married, came as an utter shock.  The bomb dropped after an enjoyable dinner out and pleasant evening, but obviously I didn’t sense the ‘vibes’, when unexpectedly on the way home, the old “it’s not you, it’s me” blurts out.  Out of the blue, I was ‘fired’. Sitting in the passenger seat, virtually dumbfounded, I asked myself, “What the hell did I do wrong” in this relationship?
Astounding how everything automatically fell back to me. In any event; I was ‘fired’, and never saw the guy again.  Touche.

Now firing can work the other way; and I had the upper hand:
I ‘fired’ a couple of my psychiatrists.  The first I had for numerous years; an arrogant SOB, who had little time and I was getting nowhere with. I’m convinced he really cared that I ‘fired’ him; he most likely didn’t recognize that I wasn’t a patient of his until years later!   Also he’s the one who pushed for the beginning of ECTs which did zilch in the way of any recovery.

The second pdoc fell asleep on me during our second session.  I did take this personally at first, then thought – no – he’s the one with the slumber problem.

And lastly, for a point in time during my illness, when the blackest, muddiest moments of depression would not let up; I believed life had ‘fired’ me.  I felt adrift, discouraged and very suicidal.  Suicide is not the answer, however, when you’re able to actually feel the black, depressive fog between your fingertips; you identify that death is nearby anyways.  So many days I would ask myself, “What did I do that was so wrong in my life to deserve this crappy life?”.  Life’s ‘firing’ is the worst ‘firing’ of all.

Depression is still with me right now, not as dark yet at times it feels as if the “firing” squad is just around the corner.

~~~ Deb


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